For an SAP customer, the following questions will arise –
- “What is SAP Leonardo Machine Learning?”
- “Is it a new machine learning product from SAP?“
- “What happens to existing SAP Advance Analytics tools (SAP Predictive Analytics , HANA PAL (Predictive Analytics Libraries) ?”
- “How will it integrate with existing SAP applications?”
Let’s begin with answering the first question, SAP Leonardo Machine Learning is not a new product offered by SAP. SAP Leonardo Machine Learning is the new branding for SAP’s entire portfolio of intelligent applications and services. It ranges from well-established product offerings, such as SAP HANA Predictive Analytics Library(PAL), SAP Predictive Analytics(SAP PA 3.x) to services offered through the SAP Leonardo Machine learning foundation. The services offered are explained below.
The below diagram gives an overview of SAP Leonardo Machine Learning components.
Breaking down components of SAP Leonardo Machine Learning
Let’s try to understand how SAP is trying to position the portfolio of Machine Learning Applications. This portfolio includes the following three components
- HANA(PAL)- Which is part of HANA’s application function library (AFL) defines functions that can be called from within SAP HANA SQLScript procedures to perform predictive analytic algorithms
- SAP Predictive Analytics – Standalone software application provided which can be used in conjunction with HANA(PAL) to build predictive models .
- SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation on SAP cloud platform consists of machine learning API’s available via API Business Hub which can be implemented as REST APIs. (A RESTful API is an application program interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data.
The following diagram describes the different services provided by the machine learning foundation.
SAP Machine Learning Functional Services –Provide readily consumable pre-trained models that can be used as a web service by calling simple REST APIs. SAP now has a growing list of consumable APIs on the business hub. Here are some of the examples of these APIs:
- Document Feature Extraction API
- Image Classification API
- Image Feature Extraction API
- Time Series Forecast API
- Topic Detection API
- Product Text Classification API
- Similarity scoring API
SAP Machine Learning Predictive Services – SAP offers predictive services which can perform analytics on data on SAP HANA DB on SAP Cloud platform. Some of the services offered are listed below:
- SAP Predictive Analytics Integrator Service*
- Clustering service
- Dataset service
- Forecast service
- Outlier service
- Recommendation service
- Whatif service
SAP Predictive Analytics Integrator Service -This service integrates and consumes predictive models within cloud applications and enables productive utilization of the predictive models. SAP Predictive Analytics Integrator is a framework to enable SAP Applications to embed predictive models natively in enterprise applications. Business users can use the output of the models in the form of insights, scores and decisions to help them in their day to day work while data scientists can debrief the models to understand how they work and update them to increase accuracy and ROI.
SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Business Service – The services provided by SAP focus on business specific use cases and out of box solutions. For example, SAP Leonardo Machine Learning foundation can enable service organizations, by easily categorizing and smartly processing incoming service inquiries, or by analyzing historical activities of business network users. Some of the services called as intelligent services are listed below:
- SAP Intelligent Financing API
- SAP Service Ticket Intelligence Classification
- SAP Service Ticket Intelligence Recommendation
To understand how SAP is positioning these APIs, we can draw parallels from Bluemix platform which offers Watson APIs (Text to Speech API, Personality Insights API) or AWS platform offering Machine Learning APIs. The blog does not provide a comparison between the API’s offered by SAP and other API providers. The blog portrays SAP’s vision and future road map for providing machine learning APIs within its ecosystem . Third party providers also can host their APIs on this SAP cloud platform.
Let’s explore various technical scenarios to understand how customers will leverage SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Platform. We go with the assumption that the customers understand the need to set up a next generation platform for predictive and cognitive analytics. Many customers have already realized the importance of having an enterprise wide adoption of machine learning as compared to having niche applications run by group of data scientists.
- Customers running HANA (PAL) – HANA will soon provide an Application Function Library (AFL) to natively access and consume machine learning services provided by SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation. This will enhance HANA’s already existing PAL algorithms with service APIs for certain applications.
- Customers running SAP Predictive Analytics –SAP Predictive Analytics Integrator works with on premise and cloud based applications and is used to solve business problems based on structured relational data. Customers now can build models in SAP PA and consume them in real business applications
- Customers running open source machine learning applications (R, Python, SparkML..) SAP Leonardo Machine Learning services can be easily implemented as REST APIs
Watch this space for more clarity from SAP
- SAP has recently introduced a set of following cognitive APIs – Image processing, Topic detection, Product Text Classification Et al., customers need to evaluate and compare the functionalities and features (performance, security, compatibility, scalability, pricing ..) of each API with features of similar APIs provided by leading providers.
The diagram below combines all the components of SAP Leonardo Machine Learning (We do not have an exhaustive list of all APIs)
All API are available @ https://api.sap.com/